e: enquiry@lizmontnursery.co.uk  t: 020 8399 1679  m: 07962 054 585

Child working with the Practical Life materials, sorting colours (3a)

Montessori Teaching in Practice

The Montessori Materials Teaching Equipment

Unique to the ‘Montessori Method’ is the equipment used to teach and guide the children. This equipment is used in approved Montessori settings around the world.

Practical Life

Practical Life is generally the first area a child is exposed to in a Montessori setting as it serves as a common ground between nursery and home. The child is attracted to Practical Life because the activities are the same everyday activities the child sees at home.

Grace and Courtesy: Montessori introduced Exercises in Grace and Courtesy in reaction to the young child’s need for order. The child has a need to know and to absorb the social structures in order to be more at ease in his environment. Grace and Courtesy lessons give the child the vocabulary, actions, and steps required for him to build his awareness and responsiveness of those around him. This in turn gives the child a better sense of orientation in his social structure.

Practical Life is the foundation for all other areas in the nursery environment. For example, tonging beads strengthens the pincer grip, which is used in writing in the Language section of the school.

The exercises of Practical Life help the child to master his/her skill of movement. On perfection of a specific movement, a child will feel satisfaction and an increase in both self-confidence and independence.

Practical Life, Transferring – These activities encourage the child to refine and develop their gross and fine motor skills.  These activities range from simple to more complex, for example from transferring from bowl to bowl with a spoon to more complex, for example using tweezers to pick up and transfer small beads. Child working with the Practical Life materials, sorting colours (Photos 3a & 3b).

Practical Life, Care of Self – These activities encourage children’s independence in self-care, for example using the dressing frames children learn to do up Velcro fasteners, buttons and zips. Child working with the Button Frame from the Practical Life, 'Care of the Person' materials (Photos 4a & 4b).

Sensorial

We experience the world through our senses; we cannot fully experience the beauty of a flower without sight – to see its form and colour, and without smell – to breathe its sweet fragrance.

Maria Montessori created the Sensorial materials to help the child to make the sensorial impressions more accurately and easily. This is one of the main aims of the Sensorial materials. All of the Sensorial materials are designed in such a way as to help the child’s mind to focus on one particular quality. For example the Tactile Boards focus on texture and the Pink Tower focuses on size.

Maria Montessori achieved this by using the principle of “isolation of stimulus”, for example, the Brown Stairs are all the same length and colour and only their breadth varies. The child’s mind focuses only on the breadth because that is the only way to differentiate between them.  The Sensorial materials bring order and system to the sensorial impressions a child has already received and is still receiving. Maria Montessori said, “We have no other possible means of distinguishing objects than by their attributes.” If the Sensorial materials are used in the correct manner, the child’s mind focuses on one attribute, which will enable the child to differentiate between the materials and in doing so, order and systemise their sensorial impressions.

Sensorial – These activities allow children to develop and refine logical thinking skills. As with all the Montessori materials, these materials are presented to the children in a specific order from simple to more complex. Concepts such as big, small, broad, narrow are learned through practical use of the materials. Each activity generally focuses on one sense in order that the concept being learned is more apparent, for example the bricks in the pink tower vary only by size and children learn to build this from biggest to smallest brick. Colours and shades of colour are learned using wooden tablets all of the same shape and size. Child working with the Pink Tower from the Sensorial materials (Photos 5a & 5b).

Another Sensorial material is the binomial cube which is a concrete representation of the mathematical formula (a+b)3 . The binomial cube introduces the child to an abstract algebra and geometry concept. The children are not expected to understand the mathematical formula but through working with the material, the child develops a deeper understanding of maths. Algebra and geometry: The Montessori Binomial Cube Presentation (Photo 5c). Algebra and Geometry: The child builds the Binomial Cube (Photo 5d).

Maths

Learning mathematical concepts in a Montessori setting begins concretely and progresses towards the abstract. Order, coordination, concentration, and independence are developed by the child using these materials.

Early Montessori maths materials introduce sets of one to ten which prepares the child for counting and teaches the value of quantity. Children begin to associate numeral and quantity with number rods and number cards. Spindle boxes, cards and counters, the short bead stair, reinforce the ability to count from one to ten.

The children are introduced to the decimal system using the golden beads. The beads represent units, tens, hundreds and thousands. The size of the beads correspond with the value of these numbers.

Children work with early addition using the table number rods, short bead stair and addition strip board. These materials provide the children with a concrete representation for addition problems.

The activities in the maths area are not to be implemented at a set pace. Providing the child with the materials at precisely the right challenge level will enable the child to demonstrate his development to the teacher through his progress. A child that is able to grasp such math concepts as addition and subtraction demonstrates the successful use of the math materials. The materials are so beautifully designed and appropriate for each child during his sensitive periods of learning math. Mathematical apparatus provides the necessary stimulation for the child to learn math concepts more readily.

Mathematics – Presentation of these materials introduces the children to counting, with an initial focus on counting to 10, recognising numerals and quantity. Over time children may be introduced to concrete materials, which enable them to complete simple operations such as addition. Child working with the Number Rods from the Maths area (Photos 6a & 6b).

Language

Language is unique to human beings and distinguishes us from animals. Through language we experience emotion. Limited language limits relationships, if you cannot express your needs and feelings, your relationships will always be limited.

We need to increase the child’s vocabulary so that they can express themselves freely. The richer the language area in the Montessori environment, the richer the language in the child. A child with good verbal skills will find reading and writing easier.

The child’s language competence is improved through:

• Stories and poems

• Access to books

• Rhymes and jingles

• Action songs and finger play songs

• Question and answer games

• Verse reading

• Singing

• Speaking and listening

• Matching cards

We use a phonetic approach to reading and writing. Letters are pronounced using sound. We want the child to grasp that each letter has a sound. The child 'builds' words by breaking words down into these sounds.

Language – The children have been developing their skills for language and writing through the use of all the Montessori materials and games such as I-spy.  We use the phonetic approach, the sounds of the letters. Letters are introduced using the sandpaper letters; children are able to feel the shape of the letter.  Once children know the letter sounds and recognise letters using the sandpaper letters, they can move on to word building using the moveable alphabet – a box of cut-out wooden letters. Using first objects then picture cards and their phonetic knowledge, the children use these wooden letters to spell out simple three letter words, such a man, dog, mat. Child working with the Sandpaper Letters from the Language area (Photos 7a & 7b).

Insets – children draw shapes using the frames of these geometric shapes and fill in with lines from top to bottom. The purpose of this activity is to prepare the child for writing; developing their pencil control, hand-eye co-ordination and lightness of touch. Child working with the Insets, from the Language area (Photos 8a & 8b).

Cultural Area

The Cultural area of the Montessori nursery covers a variety of subjects. Geography, Science, Botany, Zoology, and History are included. Art and Music are also considered a part of the Cultural area of the classroom. The Montessori cultural area is the ‘heart’ of the Montessori nursery and links to the other areas of the nursery.

The cultural materials are first presented as a whole and then broken down into smaller parts. For example, we look at the world as a whole and then break it down into continents. The child is always given a concrete representation of new work before moving on to more abstract representations. If a child has a keen interest in something, we follow the child’s lead and supply them with exercises to accommodate that interest.

Cultural, Geography – The children are introduced to the earth - land and water and the continents of the world, using globes and a puzzle map of the world. The continent boxes allow them to further explore objects and pictures from each continent. Child working with the Continent Globe from the Cultural area (Photos 9a & 9b)

Cultural, Botany, Zoology, Science – The children can choose from a variety of matching/pairing/sorting card activities for example identifying similar features, habitats or naming plants or animals, also animal life cycle activities, exploring magnetic or non-magnetic objects. Child working with the Frog puzzle from the Cultural area (Photos 10a & 10b)

The following Link provides a detailed exposition of practical Montessori exercises:
http://www.infomontessori.com/practical-life/grace-and-courtesy-introduction.htm

Child working with the Button Frame from the Practical Life, 'Care of the Person' materials (4a)

Child working with the Pink Tower from the Sensorial materials (5a)

Algebra and Geometry: The Montessori Binomial Cube Presentation (5c)

Algebra and Geometry: The child builds the Binomial Cube (5d)

Child working with the Number Rods from the Maths area (6a)

Child working with the Sandpaper Letters from the Language area (7a)

Practical Life, Transferring Materials (3b)

Practical Life, 'Care of the Person' materials (4b)

Sensorial materials (5b)

Mathematics materials (6b)

Child working with the Practical Life materials, sorting colours
Practical Life, Transferring Materials
Child working with the Button Frame from the Practical Life, 'Care of the Person' materials
Practical Life, 'Care of the Person' materials
Child working with the Pink Tower from the Sensorial materials
Sensorial materials
Algebra and Geometry: The Montessori Binomial Cube Presentation
Algebra and Geometry: The child builds the Binomial Cube
Child working with the Sandpaper Letters from the Language area
Mathematics materials
Child working with the Number Rods from the Maths area

Language materials (7b)

Language materials

Child working with the Insets, from the Language area (8a)

Insets – children draw shapes using the frames of these geometric shapes and infill with lines from top to bottom (8b)

Child working with the Continent Globe from the Cultural area (9a)

Child working with the Insets, from the Language area
Insets – children draw shapes using the frames of these geometric shapes and infill with lines from top to bottom
Child working with the Continent Globe from the Cultural area

Cultural, Geography (9b)

Child working with the Frog puzzle from the Cultural area (10a)

Cultural, Botany, Zoology, Science

Cultural, Geography
Child working with the Frog puzzle from the Cultural area
Cultural, Botany, Zoology, Science

Montessori Teaching Materials

Montessori Teaching Materials

Montessori Teaching Materials

Montessori Teaching Materials
Montessori Teaching Materials
Montessori Teaching Materials

Montessori Teaching Materials

Montessori Teaching Materials

Montessori Teaching Materials

Montessori Teaching Materials
Montessori Teaching Materials
Montessori Teaching Materials

Elizabeth’s Montessori Nursery Ltd, The Baptist Church, Balaclava Road, Surbiton KT6 5PN. Telephone: 020 8399 1679 or 07962 054 585  Email: enquiry@lizmontnursery.co.uk